Forgive me for the long post and highjack here
Here is the map I was showing Paul of a screen shot of my tracks in Colombia on a Colrut map showing the old road. Even Colrut is not as good in the location of the old road but since there is just one road you can't mess up once you are one it other than not finding the entrance to the old road where it meets the new road labeled "Old BV RD" waypoint in the map below, just a little before the small community of Dagua. Unfortunately in the screen shot below I highlighted the gps cord. for blue flag way point "0698" that shows up in the bottom left of the map the coordinates at the entrance of the old road from the Buenaventura end and not the Cali end where Paul was wanting to start the trip, that sucks because this was one of the neatest roads I remember riding in Southern Colombia. Here's the map shot I sent Paul with the waypoint at the Western entrance selected:
The photos in Paul's above post where the ones from the new road going to the coast. It was explained to me by some locals that Colombia wants Buenaventura to become the biggest Pacific port in South America, and from all the construction of the tunnels and via ducts on the mountainous route to the coast I believe they are serious about it. It's staggering how much work they are doing on the new road making it into a main artery to the coast. It's funny Paul and I though the same thing looking across the valley and seeing that little road cut on the other side, it looked something like a little Death Road version, it was a crazy path that could have been the second old road or something to Cali but was not the old road on the Colrut mapset. Some of Paul's pictures of that little road cut into the mountain:
So onto Buenaventura, a kinda rough place that would be where you would most likely end up if taking a boat on the Pacific side to cross the Darien. Old junky picture of a picture in a hotel I stayed at in BV:
There are just not much in the way of road options out to the Pacific Coast in Colombia, only two that I'm aware off and almost everyone will frown on you for going out that direction as Paul found out. You can go but people don't know why you want to go
Good ADV is usually found where most people don't go
I have yet to even write this up in my poor lagging ride report...
When I went out from Cali earlier last year, Joe from New Zealand wanted to come along and I was game for some company for a few days as we where also going to go to San Cipriano off the main road down to BV for a little railroad moto riding and do a little jungle trek to some waterfalls:
kinda scary fast when you think about a bearing failure and flipping one of these things
Even had little versions of traffic jams on the rails:
We stayed one night in the jungle at San Cipriano and then took off for BV for the next night before finding the old road the following day and heading back to Cali taking our time swimming along the way.
Hell I even like the Colombian mannequins more, this one from BV:
We took off early as possible the next morning and found the old road after some dead reckoning and finding a road heading off in the direction I was looking for and got on the wonderful old track going back to Cali meanwhile all the time looking out for all these bad guys we'd been warned about on this route.
This is the route I was wanting Paul to find
Mostly a simple old worn out gravel road passing through many small communities along the way and crossing many rivers, nice old bridges in place since this used to be the only way out to the port town.
Road is very remote in the middle sections and not used by anyone else other than the locals and the few supply trucks that move up the end closest to BV, I could hardly tell that anyone crosses the middle section that is barely used at all, but the old infastructure like signage is still in place and even some good concrete sections on the tougher big uphill sections still in remarkably good shape with a few bad spot thrown in for good measure
Follow a big river for a good ways and ran into a lot of campesinos gold mining out in the remote areas.
Then we start coming on all the good swimming holes along the way, this one with the rope swing made me stop and we drawed quite a crowd as we both stripped down to enjoy the cool waters of the clear creek:
Here Joe giving it a good go:
Even the military came to give us an inspection and a friendly local helped pass us the swing rope from the bridge:
We where very happy to run into the military and they where kinda amazed to see us in the area. All our questions about the security of the area where laid to rest as we got the good "muey tranquillo" We posed for a group photos and the stickers where a big hit with the personnel and locals, Damn fine guys
The more remote the road got the better it got, just too many numerous good swimming holes we had to pass up and then the waterfalls started in as we left the lower ground and climbed up through the mountains.
Joe splashing through one of the 1,982 chugholes along the way:
Old US Steel Export bridge on the old road from back in the day, that sticker shot from the previous post was from this one:
Another good swimming hole calling my name but we wanted to get back to Cali before tomorrow came:
The road got tighter as we left the normal traffic route as we entered the middle section that nobody hardly uses:
Waterfalls got more numerous, little ones first (notice the pristine concrete):
The road getting just a little worse:
Bigger waterfalls for nice beauty shots of the bike
Had our lunch in the middle of the road, not a bit of traffic seen in this section:
And hell, why not some waterfalls right on the damn road for fun, it was a good douching, doesn't look like much but you get soaked:
This road was really starting to make an impression on us both, it was great
This was the part I really wanted Paul to see
We finally made it through the desolate middle section and broke out to the other side where the road was "used" again and met up with the rains and stopped at a nice old lady's roadside stand, she couldn't hardly believe we come through the section
The Virgin or somebody special out in the middle of nowhere, nicely maintained little park-like setting:
Here you can see how far off we where running from the Colrut's idea of the old road from BV, not any options so I knew we couldn't go wrong:
Road got wider and more well used on this end as we came across some kind of hydro production facility on an un-damned river:
We stopped for some refreshments and to reflect on a nice little bar on the river:
Little soccer pitch the locals had across the river, they love their football everywhere down in Latin America
Real nice local girl running the establishment, she confirmed the security situation of the area as being good and was also impressed of mine and Joe's crossing of the old road, it was a damn fine ride
I talked with some locals across from the bar and ended up getting a good trade; one of my dressier shirts for a good cap of my favorite cheap local beer nicely named "Poker" Nice fellows too:
We started meeting more and more signs of civilization, I almost had to try this but backed out as time was against us and the Garmin showed a good ways to meeting back up with the main road to Cali:
We broke back out to the paved stuff again and had the rest of the way easy enough:
Lots of signs of flooding in this wet area of Colombia:
Even got caught up in a little cattle drive, shut em down and waiting for the cowboys to push them past us, one was pretty hornylol3:
Joe being diabetic was getting low one sugar and hurried on up ahead once we got back to the tie in on the newer road and we stopped at one of my favorite roadside restaurants Alain introduced me too. I stopped and marked the spot on the old guard rail at the begging or end of this great route in Southern Colombia:
We had a fine meal here to top off a wonderful day of riding.
I highly recommend this route, really sorry I could get it explained to Paul any better
Maybe next time...
ps you should have stopped for some of that crazy goat milk blended up shit by that photo of the cow where all the goats where tied up along side the main road
Joe hated the stuff, it would have been better with rum
Sorry for the long picture heavy post, I think I need to get back to writing up my own report